I’m happy to welcome award-winning author Nancy Raven Smith. Today, Nancy shares her favorite cozy mysteries and new release, Bushwacked in the Outback.
While I enjoy many mystery genres, this is a list of my favorite cozy mystery series. Some are old, some are new, and the list is in no particular order. It’s in no particular order. Things that I enjoy most in cozies are well written original characters, unusual locations, humor, suspense, adventure, and the unexpected. And of course, my top ten list should probably be my top fifty to include all the ones I truly enjoy. I hope you’ll discover a series that you’re not familiar with and enjoy it, too. Everyone has their own list of authors whose work they enjoy. Please share your favorite cozies. I’d love to discover some new ones.
1. Agatha Raisin Mysteries by M.C. Beaton
Agatha is a former ad agency owner, now retired to her dream cottage in a small English village. She’s quirky, unintentionally funny, and on the hunt for a man. She soon learns her imagined idyllic life has barnacles attached – including unfriendly villagers and dead bodies. I’ll never forget Beating About The Bush where Agatha defends Wizz Wazz the donkey and becomes a national celebrity.
Sadly M.C. Beaton passed in 2019. R.W. Green will continue the series.
2. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries by Kerry Greenwood
Phryne is rich, elegant and smart. With her pearl handled pistol and the help of her family, adopted and otherwise, she stops injustice wherever she sees it. The stories take place in 1920s Australia, but Phryne is not boxed in by the usual conventions of her time.
3. Miss Fortune Mystery Series by Jana DeLeon
Fortune is a CIA assassin hiding in Sinful, Louisiana from an international arms dealer. But living in a small, southern, bayou town, pretending to be a librarian may be her hardest assignment yet. When bones show up in her yard, as well as two old ladies, she’s suddenly embroiled in a local mystery. And it turns out there’s more to the old ladies than she expected. Will her cover get blown?
4. The Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries by Heather Haven
Lee Alvarez is the lead P.I. for her family’s detective agency located in Silicon Valley, CA. It’s called Discretionary Inquiries and it deals mainly with the theft of intellectual property and computer software with an occasional murder thrown in here and there. Each family member has his or her own special talent that makes the agency work. Like any family, each one also has their flaws and quirks.
5. Country Club Murders by Julie Mulhern
Ellison Russell has a problem. She’s a body magnet. She even swims into dead bodies at her Country Club pool. She also has to deal with a rebellious teenaged daughter, an over bearing mother, and a suspicious new detective. Her husband’s multiple affairs don’t help. Neither does the fact that she’s also a target for killers who are unsure of what she knows.
6. Poppy Field’s Adventures by Julie Mulhern
Poppy’s Mexican beach vacation is the start of her crazy new life when she’s abducted by a drug lord. She’s not prepared to rise to the occasion. She’s a rich, fashionista, with a movie-star mother, 84 million Instagram followers, and paparazzi following her every move. She has no obvious talent other than a gift for picking clothes and accessories.
Now her life has turned into one of her mother’s movies, but with real bullets and bad guys. Will she be able to survive?
7. Patricia Fisher Mystery Adventures by Steve Higgs
Discovering her husband’s affair sends middle-aged Patricia off the deep end. She empties her husband’s bank account and signs on to an around the world cruise ship that’s departing immediately. Unfortunately, she’s quickly thrown in the middle of a murder investigation where she’s the main suspect. Did she jump out of one bad situation and into a worse one? Can she solve the murder and save herself with the help of the new friends she’s made on board?
8. Murder on Maui Series – Robert W. Stephens
Edgar Allan “Poe” Rutherford has lost his job and his girl. He heads to Maui, where he’s looking forward to a vacation with an old friend. When a murder is blamed on his friend, Poe is determined to solve the mystery. He not only manages to save his friend, but he discovers two new loves – Maui and Detective Alana Hu.
9. Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon Mystery Series by Sherry Harris
Most of us know Sherry Harris as the author of the popular Garage Sale Mysteries, but she has a new series with protagonist Chloe Jackson, a former Chicago librarian. Chloe is fulfilling a promise to help her late boyfriend’s grandmother run the Sea Glass Saloon located in the Florida Panhandle town of Emerald Cove. Turns out the location is the target of land developers and vacationers. Chloe loves her new life pouring beers and mixing cocktails at the Saloon. It’s just that the grandmother and the residents aren’t what she was expecting.
10. Chet and Bernie Mysteries by Spencer Quinn
Author Spencer Quinn had me at his titles. Who can resist Dog On It, To Fetch A Thief, Scents and Sensibility, Tender Is The Bite, or It’s A Wonderful Woof? The original, funny mysteries told through Chet, the dog’s, POV don’t disappoint either.
“If you can’t follow the money, follow the body.”
Lexi loves her job as a Beverly Hills bank fraud investigator. It lets her pursue scam artists and con men – known in the business as land sharks.
Sadly, one crook left her with a broken heart and a destroyed reputation. And the bank’s president is looking for any excuse to fire her.
Yet she risks everything when she follows a dead embezzler’s casket to Coober Pedy in the Australian outback. She knows it’s a gamble, but it’s her last hope to recover the bank’s stolen money. Unfortunately, she’s persona non grata in that country. She needs to get in, find the money, and get out before the Australian police discover her presence. But will the unexpected appearance of an ex-lover make her linger too long?
If you like cozy mysteries in exotic locations with deadly secrets and touches of humor, then you’ll enjoy the multi award winning Land Sharks Cozy Mystery series.
Amazon (US) | Amazon (CA) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (AU)
Author Bio and Links
Nancy Raven Smith grew up in Virginia, where she ran and participated in horse sport events. On their farm, she rescued horses, dogs, and cats and is an advocate for animal rescue. Later in California, she traded her event experience for film work. Her screenplays and novels have won numerous major awards. When not writing, Raven Smith enjoys her family and friends, travel, art, movies, and white-water rafting. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Women in Film.
Website | Facebook | The Reluctant Farmer of Whimsey Hill
Whew, more series to follow up on, one cozy writer to another!
Hi Joanne, Thank you so much for letting me share some of my favorite cozies with your readers. It was fun to recall some of these great series.
You’re very welcome, Nancy. I enjoyed learning about these series, some I knew, others I look forward to discovering. 🙂